Acupuncture, a type of traditional Chinese medicine, is the insertion of very thin metallic needles into specific acupuncture points into the skin to alleviate pain and treat various health conditions. Such conditions include low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches and cancer treatment related symptoms. Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that Qi (the flow of energy), flows through the body in channels called meridians. Meridians are described as being a complex network of lines of energy. It is believed that an incorrect or inadequate flow of Qi results in illness. When inserted, the needles release this Qi, thereby promoting wound healing, pain modulation and sense of well-being. It is hypothesized that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system, causing the release of substances such as endorphins, immune cells, opioids and neurotransmitters. A typical acupuncture session usually lasts 20 minutes to 1 hour. The frequency and number of treatments varies from person to person. When done by a qualified practitioner, acupuncture causes little to no discomfort and is generally considered as safe.